Everyone with an ML 320 should be aware that Mercedes Benz is under a Consent Decree and was fined $1.2 million by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice in December 2006 for failing to report catalytic converter failures to EPA and thoroughly address the failures. As part of the Consent Decree they are supposed to be replacing those under an extended warranty. My experience with them is they deny the part meets the recall criteria and refuse to replace it under warranty. Cost to the owner is in excess of $2400. If you are having problems with Mercedes Benz with respect to your catalytic converter, you might consider reporting it to EPA's Compliance and Enforcement Division. Just pull up the EPA website and they have an option to contact them.
Have you tried buying proper snow tires for your ML? Spend the money as it is beneficial to your enjoying your SUV fully and confidently.
In February 2001, I purchased a new ML320 after researching other (maybe) comparable SUV's (Grand Cherokee and Toyota Forerunner LTD.) I decided to buy the ML, in part, because of reputation and a 4- year bumper to bumper warranty that neither of the aforementioned models offered. The first 4 years of ownership was uneventful except for the failing insulation in the sunroof (warranty repair.) Whatever else failed was covered and I was reasonably pleased with MB service. I didn't put out any money except for gas those 4 years and I feel pretty good about that.
Since then I had the brake pads and wear sensors replaced at 33K miles for around $900 which is outrageous. All the required parts cost less than $250 as listed on the invoice, priced elsewhere. So that means, they charged over $600 for labor (at $100 p/hr, it would mean it takes nearly a whole day to do a brake replacement job (the rotors were fine and within margins.) If you ever swapped out the brake 'pucks' and sensors... it's not difficult.
This week the driver side window switch failed and after a little research, discovered that this is a common occurrence with the ML. The switch module costs less than $130 and labor should be.5-.7 hours to complete. I'm thinking about doing this myself... fearing that the MB dealer will figure out a way to charge me 3-4 hours for the replacement (remember the brake job?)
After many years of owning cars and working on them when I was younger, I thought I would be done getting all grimy and working on my cars. And, I've owned everything from BMW's, GM, Toyota, VW, Mitsubishi, and the terminal Fiat. If I were to rate the ML, it would stand somewhere between Fiat and Mitsubishi. I'm not kidding. The top rated brand for me would be Toyota.
All in all, I have been pleased with my ML320, but then again, I was pleased with my Fiat. I never bought another Fiat. Best cost of ownership? Chevy S10 with 150K miles and about $2000 (over 16 years.) Go figure. I will say Toyota/Lexus and Honda make great products... my brother and his family own 6 models between them.
I still like MB and would own one again, only if I had a jillion dollars and didn't care.
I just want to thank all of you for leaving these comments. I am in the market for a used car and was seriously looking at the 2000 M-Class (any of them). I think after reading all of the negative comments, I will go with another make and model. I am thankful I saw these reviews before purchasing. My dream car might have turned into a real nightmare!
2002-ML 320 - faced most of the issues mentioned here including power steering leak (reservoir cracked). It was nice when under warranty to get most stuff fixed for free or very little charge, but getting fixes without warranty is extremely expensive, especially with the dealer. This is a very badly/cheaply build piece of automobile and my dream of owning an MB was shattered after endless problems and poor build quality. Thinking seriously of switching to a Lexus since my 10 year old Toyota is still going great with just teh regular maintenance. For those who don't believe these issues, let me know and I can upload my service invoices that shows all the problems and provide a link!
I have a 2001 Ml 320. I have only had to change the brakes thus far. I love my car at this point. I wish all Ml owners felt the same. I plan on buying the Gl for my birthday. I love Mercedes.
I purchased a 1998 ML 320. The way it drives is great, but I have had it for six months now and sometimes when I'm driving and hit a hard bump, the truck just cuts off. Once I'm able to stop, it will start right back up, but this is a problem when I'm on the highway etc.
Also now the check engine light is on. Can anyone tell me what might be causing the shut off?
Well other than that, I love it!?
I own an ML 320 and it's running well. It's been 3 years now and I haven't changed anything, but is it normal that when I turn the steering wheel to the max it makes a noise?
But as an overall, it's very good and it deserves the money I paid.
I had accident in 2006, so I decided to buy a more safe and reliable car this time, and guess what, I got a piece of crap. Since it was a used car, I knew that everything won't be perfect.
About year after, my water pump broke off on Thanksgiving when I was taking trip up north. It looks like if you drive it down south and take it to colder place, the car is not able to take the cold. Cost $1500 for a new pump.
A year later on same Thanksgiving day, pump broke again, thank God for the lifetime warranty, all done it cost me $500 to get car back home.
Antifreeze tank leaks. Bought a new one for $140. Six months later the new one leaks too. It also had a one year warranty, so I got new one.
Driver window got stuck, I have fixed this myself.
CD Changer not loading CD to play. So much for all my CDs. I am stuck with the radio.
About year and half later, I get a recall letter for the power steering fluid to be fixed. Right then I know I am stuck with a problem.
Now I have Code PO 410, which caused me to fail emissions. I know lot of you say it is am air pump, but it works well. Took it a dealer to tell me what it is; Diagnostic $108. They say my right head is plugged from carbon build up, which is about $2000 - $3000, at least 7 days process.
It only has 170,000 miles since I am on road all the time. I had other cars that served me well with more miles than this. Dealer say it is very common to see this on high mileage cars. I don't buy this a car that takes premium gas and has this problem at 170,000 highway miles; it's just outrageous. Anyone have solution to my problem, let me know. How can I clean this without spending $3000?